‘WAR is a terrible thing and I don’t want anything like that to happen again.’
Those were the poignant words of Second World War veteran Bill Marshall.
The 97-year-old attended a commemoration service for Victory over Japan Day, in St Faith’s Church, West Street, Havant, yesterday.
He fought in the war from the start in 1939, but then spent three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in the Far East.
Although Victory in Europe took place in May 8, 1945, the fighting did not officially end until the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945.
Mr Marshall, who is president of the Java Far East Prisoners of War Club 1942, said: ‘The remembrance service was excellent and it was good to see dignitaries attend.
I was a prisoner of war for three-and-a-half years and it was awfulVeteran Bill Marshall
‘There were many sacrifices made during the war and we must not forget them.
‘War is a terrible thing and I don’t want anything like that to happen again.
‘I was a prisoner of war for three-and-a-half years and it was awful.’
Havant mayor Leah Turner carried out the first reading at the ceremony, which also featured hymns.
Dignitaries, members of the public and the families of those who fought in the Second World War also gathered in Portsmouth for the 70th anniversary of VJ Day next to the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.
The service was led by Canon Bob White from St Mary’s Church in Fratton.
There were several readings, with leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Donna Jones starting with a narrative of the day that effectively ended the Second World War.
The Portsmouth Military Wives Choir sang On My Own, We’ll Meet Again and Amazing Grace.
Wreaths were also laid during the event.
During the ceremony Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: ‘Often those associated with VJ Day feel they have never had the same status of remembrance services and this has put this right.’